The Chilbury Ladies' Choir

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir

The village of Chilbury in Kent is about to ring in some changes.This is a delightful novel of wartime gumption and village spirit that will make your heart sing out.Kent, 1940.In the idyllic village of Chilbury change is afoot. Hearts are breaking as sons and husbands leave to fight, and when the Vicar decides to close the choir until the men return, all seems lost.But coming together in slost.But1940.Inout.Kent,...

DownloadRead Online
Title:The Chilbury Ladies' Choir
Author:Jennifer Ryan
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir Reviews

  • Liz

    Reminding me of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, this book is written as a series of letters, journal or diary entries. As opposed to a single writer, here we have a variety of writers of all ages and stripes. Starting at the beginning of WWII, the village is dealing with the absence of most of its men. The vicar disbands the choir as it lacks the necessary tenors and basses. But here comes a new music instructor to the nearby University and she forms The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir. “I

    Reminding me of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, this book is written as a series of letters, journal or diary entries. As opposed to a single writer, here we have a variety of writers of all ages and stripes. Starting at the beginning of WWII, the village is dealing with the absence of most of its men. The vicar disbands the choir as it lacks the necessary tenors and basses. But here comes a new music instructor to the nearby University and she forms The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir. “It is time for us women to do what we can as a group to support each other and keep our spirits up.” As someone who has sung for years in a choir, it's a true sentiment. There is something uplifting about making music with others. In fact, she is spot on about all things involved in singing- that moment before coming in on a note when singing a capella, the fear of the solo or the community from singing together.

    Ryan does a great job of fleshing out each character. And there are some real characters here. Kitty’s writing does seem very grownup for a thirteen year old but that's a minor quibble especially because Ryan does capture the girl’s crush on Henry perfectly.

    This novel manages to blend humor, warmth, sorrow and depth all within its pages. The book is based on her grandmother’s stories of a choir she sung in during WWII and the freedoms women had because of the war.

    For those who enjoyed The Summer Before the War or the tv series Land Girls or Home Fires, I would recommend this novel. A full five stars!

    My thanks to netgalley and Crown Publishing Group for an advance copy of this book.

  • Fran

    "The Chilbury Ladies' Choir" is an epistolary novel providing a snapshot of the experiences of a group of mostly women during World War II over the time period from March-September 1940. Able bodied men have joined the war effort and the Vicar has decided to disband the choir saying that only a mixed chorus will do! Enter Primrose Trent, music professor. Prim restructures the choral music for women's voices only, the Vicar concedes defeat, and The Chilbury Ladies' Choir is born. Music is the sal

    "The Chilbury Ladies' Choir" is an epistolary novel providing a snapshot of the experiences of a group of mostly women during World War II over the time period from March-September 1940. Able bodied men have joined the war effort and the Vicar has decided to disband the choir saying that only a mixed chorus will do! Enter Primrose Trent, music professor. Prim restructures the choral music for women's voices only, the Vicar concedes defeat, and The Chilbury Ladies' Choir is born. Music is the salve that helps the town cope with loss of friends,spouses and the pain of unrequited love.

    Through the use of journal entries, letters, and occasional notices, the lives of several residents are highlighted. Mrs. Tilling, a nurse with a quiet demeanor, finds her true voice while the misdeeds of unethical midwife Edwina Paltry play out. The antics of Venetia, a self absorbed older sister and those of awkward thirteen year old Kitty, a budding singer, are vividly portrayed as they share their thoughts and dreams through the written word. Mrs. B. a control freak and gossip, testy to all, will have to cooperate with the ladies since The Chilbury Ladies' Choir is determined to enter a choral competition. The choir provides a support system for these women. They raise their voices in mournful prayer, when needed, but sing of hope and recovery.

    Stylistic use of documents and letters provides excellent character studies of the residents in this town near Dover. We view the growth of Mrs. Tilling and Venetia as well as the demise of Edwina Paltry. We applaud their successes and are tearful for their losses. "The Chilbury Ladies' Choir" by Jennifer Ryan was a most enjoyable read.

    Thank you Crown Publishing and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review "The Chilbury Ladies' Choir".

  • Annet

    Lovely book! For the really good and relaxing read, great story, five stars! Sort of a feel-good book with both sad and happy events.... Great and colorful story buildup with each chapter written from the point of view of one of the book's main characters. Central roles for a n

    Lovely book! For the really good and relaxing read, great story, five stars! Sort of a feel-good book with both sad and happy events.... Great and colorful story buildup with each chapter written from the point of view of one of the book's main characters. Central roles for a number of women in the village of Chillbury who decide to go on with the village choir, women only, in absence of the men out to war...

  • Sabaa Tahir

    Read this book over a couple of months because I didn't want it to end. Such detail, such heart, and some excellent village intrigue and cabal, all set agains the backdrop of World War II. One of my favorite adult books of recent memory. Jennifer Ryan is going to be an auto-buy for me from now on.

  • Paromjit

    This is a hugely enjoyable novel delivered through the medium of letters and journals. It is a quintessentially British story set in Kent about a community of women contributing to the war effort, trying to survive and live life whilst the world as they know it is crumbling around them. Helping them to cope with the grief and loss is the Chilbury Ladies Choir set up by incomer Primrose, despite the opposition of Mrs B. who thinks its a scandal to have a choir without men. Women are having to ste

    This is a hugely enjoyable novel delivered through the medium of letters and journals. It is a quintessentially British story set in Kent about a community of women contributing to the war effort, trying to survive and live life whilst the world as they know it is crumbling around them. Helping them to cope with the grief and loss is the Chilbury Ladies Choir set up by incomer Primrose, despite the opposition of Mrs B. who thinks its a scandal to have a choir without men. Women are having to step in and do what men have done, they have no choice. The choir becomes important in providing a channel to keep their spirits up, channel emotional distress, provide support and personal development.

    With warmth, wit and humour, the author gives us a wide range of characters with all the petty resentments, falling in love, tragedies and intrigue that beset any community. Mrs Tilling is a midwife, who finds herself digging deep into her emotional reserves to support others, expands her world view as she comes to see the humanity in others even when their actions may not appear to deserve it. The lightweight and flirty Venetia comes to be a revelation as her personal circumstances become dire. New relationships are cemented through billeting as with Colonel Mallard. The emotional intensity of the young can be seen through the eyes of the young, such as thirteen year old Kitty. We get a glimpse of the class system where characters like the Brigadier and the Viscount find their established power being undermined. We see what is happening in Europe through Sylvie, a young Jewish evacuee. Edwina struggles to keep her unsavoury secrets and keep her ill gotten gains. All the action takes place where there is a real and tangible fear that Britain might come under Nazi rule.

    I became totally engaged with the characters and the pressures they are living under. I particularly loved Mrs Tilling and Prim, women who come to realise they have nothing to lose and can be exactly who they are and so becoming role models for others. In a sense, this is true to varying degrees for all the women. It is through the prism of loss that the women come to understand this and therefore learn to challenge traditional norms. This novel celebrates all that women did during the war and the role that music and the choir provide in inspiring, a route to express grief and providing succour. I think anyone who reads this will enjoy it. Highly recommended. Thanks to HarperCollins for an ARC.

  • Cheri

    4.5 Stars

    Tuesday, 26th March, 1940"

    The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir, told through letters and journals, and “lists” of things, is a story set in a small village in England, as WWII ravaged the landscape, lives and changed an entire generation, and/>

    4.5 Stars

    Tuesday, 26th March, 1940"

    The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir, told through letters and journals, and “lists” of things, is a story set in a small village in England, as WWII ravaged the landscape, lives and changed an entire generation, and those that followed. A town with a few people trying to find ways to do what they can to improve life for their small corner of the world, whose enthusiasm is infectious and, to begin with, while their men are away fighting the war, decide to start an all-female choir – The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir. You wouldn’t think this would create such division, as though it were scandalous behavior.

    There’s plenty of charm, and also plenty of reminders that there is a war going on. War is always present, in little reminders, in one of the characters thoughts or another’s actions.

    There’s so much about this that makes it clear that it’s a story from another time, another place, and I loved that the things that characterized the time and place seemed so naturally to belong then and there.

    There’s much about the haves vs the have-nots in this, as one wanders through these lives in this village, there are those who do not want, and there are those who know little else but want and need.

    War is hell, as the saying goes, places and people are damaged, destroyed, annihilated. So much devastation all around. One thing that brings light to these people are these women who have the courage to do things previously unheard of for women. Sing, yes, in an all-women choir, but it goes beyond that with so many men gone, the women have had to keep their town, their country running. And they learn a lot along the way about themselves. And as more courage is found, and more women are enjoying contributing their time and efforts, there’s another light growing stronger, bringing to light some deep, dark secrets, as well.

    So many of my friends loved this, and they wrote wonderful, very convincing reviews. I added this a while back, what seems like long ago, and have been waiting for my turn to read it since then! So glad I finally had a chance to read it, and so grateful to my goodreads friends, and goodreads for this forum to help determine which books to read.

    Many thanks, once again, to the Public Library system, and the many Librarians that manage, organize and keep it running, for the loan of this book!

  • Margitte

    And so begins a novel, with Miss Edwina Paltry's letter to her sister (quite a fitting surname given the different meanings: small, meagre, trifling, insignificant, negligible, inadequate, insufficient, scant, scanty, derisory, pitiful, pitiable, pathetic, miserable, sorry, wretched, puny, trivial, niggardly, beggarly, mean, ungenerous, inappreciable, mere).

    The fictional tale and characters are based on the real diaries and journals which were written during the first year of WWII in Britain for an organization called Mass Observation. They published a newsletter in which the hearts, minds and souls of the ordinary citizens were shared.

    The epistolary character of the novel is the result of the author's commemoration of these writers, and the stories her grandmother shared about the war. Four main narrators share through their diaries and letters the funny, racy, touching or terrifying events in Chilbury during 1940, leaving the reader in the midst of a richly textured novel populated by the citizens of the fictional village of Chilbury.

    The main narrators are:

    - in letters to her sister:

    Mark these words: her little scheme would have her flustered like a bluebottle in a jam jar in the end.

    - in her diary - thirteen years old: she saw people as beams of a rainbow, and her eighteen-year-old sister, Venitia, as simply a vile beast.

    - in her diary - the much younger Jewish evacuee from Czechoslovakia with her terrible secret.

    - in her letters to the vicar's daughter, Angela Quail.

    - in her journal - a nurse and the local billeting agent.

    Two male voices appeared in their own letters as well.

    - the most sought-after bachelor in the village. He had many a nasty nail out on dainty little ladies' fingers and a lot to answer for. Even Elsie the parlour maid got her head around something.

    - in his letters to his sister Mrs. Maud Green. He arrived as curmudgeon old Mr. Bear, and left as snuggly Mr. Toodles, well .... sort of. Life would drastically change for him in Chilbury, that's for sure.

    Miss Primrose Trent from London moved into Chilbury to become the Professor of Music at the Lichtfield University. She revived the choir, now deprived of all the men who went off to war. The Vicar Quail was convinced that all the oxygen and

    left town with the men. The women would prove him wrong. The choir gave women their voices. The voices they thought they never had. And therein lies the charm of this story of courage, endurance, resilience and hope.

    The peripheral characters brought much more color to Kitty's rainbow. They read like the Chilbury telephone directory, but what a wonderful, unbelievable, atmospheric tale they all brought alive.

    I'm not going into the plot or storyline. It is for the readers to discover and enjoy through the picturesque prose.

    GREAT READ!!! Just absolutely BEAUTIFUL!

    RECOMMENDED

  • Diane S ☔

    Charming, delightful, alternating with heartbreak and life's realities in a small English village during WWII. With very few men left in the village, the women in the village decide it is their duty to keep things going, maintain normality as much as possible and this includes restarting the disbanded choir, with women only members.

    I love reading books that are written as letters, journal entries, articles etc. I honestly don't think I would have had such a positive reaction to this

    Charming, delightful, alternating with heartbreak and life's realities in a small English village during WWII. With very few men left in the village, the women in the village decide it is their duty to keep things going, maintain normality as much as possible and this includes restarting the disbanded choir, with women only members.

    I love reading books that are written as letters, journal entries, articles etc. I honestly don't think I would have had such a positive reaction to this book of done in straightforward pose, would probably have come off too syrupy or gossipy. This was the perfect form for this story. Just telling glimpses of everyone's lives, their feelings and a general understanding of what was happening in the village and believe you me there is quite a bit going to tell. Love affairs, pregnancies, a amoral midwife, births, death, love affairs old, grief over lives lost, sons and husbands sent to fight. Yet, it is a wonderful telling of women empowerment and their desire to keep the home fires burning.

  • PorshaJo

    How could you not like a book that uses the word 'higgledy-piggledy' in it....multiple times. The Chilbury Ladies Choir is quite the fascinating read. A different take on WW2 and how people survive during this time. Don't get me wrong, any book on WW2 and the horrors is difficult to read. But this one, I found both sad and fascinating, heartbreaking and funny.

    The story is told over a series of letters, newspaper articles, and journal entries and switches back and forth between these and various

    How could you not like a book that uses the word 'higgledy-piggledy' in it....multiple times. The Chilbury Ladies Choir is quite the fascinating read. A different take on WW2 and how people survive during this time. Don't get me wrong, any book on WW2 and the horrors is difficult to read. But this one, I found both sad and fascinating, heartbreaking and funny.

    The story is told over a series of letters, newspaper articles, and journal entries and switches back and forth between these and various characters. You learn of the various people in the town of Chillbury. There is the wicked Edwina Paltry and the story of how low one person can sink. Or the saucy tart Victoria Winthrop, who changes, even grows-up during the war. Or bossy Mrs. B and her know-it-all attitude. Then there is the war, the bombings, the lives lost and during this time, the folks of Chillbury. Most of the men have gone off to war and it's up to the ladies in town to stand up and prove that they CAN do it. Such as to start an all female choir, enter a singing competition, become pall bearers, and show how brave they are.

    I started this one ages ago and life got in the way. So I decided to switch to the audio recently. I loved the narration and the different voices and accents. And a bonus....choir music was included at the most perfect times. I did have a few nitpicks with this one though, hence the lower rating. I didn't care for the audio narration where it would indicate a male spoke. Sometimes the narrator, usually female, would do this odd voices for say, gruffy older men. And the precocious child Kitty,narrating into her journal, who at 13 used phrases that no 13 would know what they mean (the sirens were blistering, her talk of the black market). But those are minor items. Overall, an enjoyable read and one that I'm glad I finally finished.

  • Diane Barnes

    I was a bit disappointed in this book. I looked forward to reading a WWII novel set in a English Village, an epistolary novel written from the viewpoint of the women left behind when the men went off to war. Let me say right off that it was a very good story with some intrigue, some mystery, and an unusual plot.

    What bothered me was that the letters and journals seemed a bit contrived. I've never yet seen a journal that quotes entire conversations verbatim, with quotation marks. Most of the

    I was a bit disappointed in this book. I looked forward to reading a WWII novel set in a English Village, an epistolary novel written from the viewpoint of the women left behind when the men went off to war. Let me say right off that it was a very good story with some intrigue, some mystery, and an unusual plot.

    What bothered me was that the letters and journals seemed a bit contrived. I've never yet seen a journal that quotes entire conversations verbatim, with quotation marks. Most of the journal entries were written as straight narrative, which may have been a better way to connect the events.

    The characters all seemed wooden and one-dimentional to me, more like characatures than anything else. As a result, I could never feel close to any of them, with the exception of Sylvie, the 10 year old Czechoslovakia refugee. She didn't really fit into any mold, and came across as a real person.

    The ending was a bit contrived as well, wrapping everything up very neatly with happy ever after for all.

    I think what I'm trying to say is that I expected more depth from this novel, and it ended up being just a routine chick-lit, which is sometimes just fine, but not what I wanted right now.

Best Books Online is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2019 Best Books Online - All rights reserved.